Wolf Richter

Plagued By Indigestion, Fed Issues Asset-Bubble Warning

Hidden in the middle of the 25-page minutes of the last meeting, under the most wooden and convoluted prose, the Fed issued a doozie of a warning: it fretted about financial stability. It named soaring forward P/E ratios, stock buybacks, margin credit, and leveraged loans.

The Piranha of Portugal: Greatest Counterfeiter Ever (Or: Any Difference Between Keynesianism And Counterfeiting?)

Bryan Taylor, Ph.D., Chief Economist, Global Financial Data: The new US $100 bill is out, as you may have seen this holiday season. Our dear old Uncle Ben is a technological wonder with a dozen different anti-counterfeiting devices on it. Since there are more $100 bills circulating outside of the United States than inside, the…

Corporate Earnings Goofiness Goes Hog Wild

Corporate earnings season has been a doozy before it even got started. The well-scripted song and dance, designed to pull a bag over investors’ heads, works marvelously: stalled revenues and earnings propel stocks higher. But the shenanigans are bumping into limits.

The Most Despised Tax-And-Retreat French President Has ANOTHER Plan

President Hollande has a solution to France’s economic quagmire, with odds like a lottery. He’d launch a “responsibility pact” – one of his many phrases to haunt him later. It would be a radical shift. When you come to the end of your bumpy road, veer to the right.

Bernanke’s Delirious Praise For His Handiwork, The Concentration Of Power At the Top Banks

Bernanke wanted to reflect on the “accomplishments of the past eight years,” demolish the “sceptics” that still doubted the Fed was the best thing since sliced bread, and pat himself on the back. His policies “have helped promote the recovery,” he said. The “recovery” of what?

Plug Power, “Exhibit A” Why Most Hot IPOs Suck Long Term

Plug Power soared 68.4% in the first two trading days this year. Not because it got a buyout offer but because it made another one of its promising announcements. The stock is up by a factor of seven since July to close at … $2.61. Down from $1,500 in March 2000.

Fizzing Optimism For Wild Financial Engineering In 2014

Nothing could have been a more pungent metaphor for the current investment climate than the headline, “Macau gambling revenue hits record $45 bn in 2013.”

So This Isn’t Exactly A Rosy Outlook For 2014, Or Something

Central banks rule! We’ve seen it in 2013. They’ve accomplished the impossible: separating stock markets from the economies they’re based on. But in 2014, the US and China are trying to unwind these crazy policies – without taking down the entire global economy.

Cracks Forming In Housing Bubble II (But This Time It’s Different)

Number one is Palo Alto, epicenter of Silicon Valley craziness, where home prices are now 40% higher than they were at their prior bubble peak. What are we calling this phenomenon? Bubble? Nope. “Housing recovery.” But the middle class has hit a wall.